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Home > News and Reports > Regional gaps in house repossessions are widening
Nov 5, 2018
Regional gaps in house repossessions are widening

The ongoing divide between housing repossessions in the northern and southern areas of the UK is wider now than in any other time during the last six years, with 33 percent more homes being repossessed in the northern UK than in the south, according to recent research released by e.surv chartered surveyors.

In its in-depth analysis of court-ordered repossessions over the course of a year ending in July, e.surv chartered surveyors found that there were only 2.4 repossessions for every 1,000 households in the southern UK, compared to 3.2 repossessions for every 1,000 households in the north, marking the widest gap since the coming of the financial crisis in 2009.

Although the repossession divide is increasing between the north and the south, repossession rates are still decreasing all across the nation. In total, there was a 17 percent decrease in the number of repossessions during the first half of 2018, with 66,544 repossessions taking place.

With 77,856 repossessions occurring during the same period in 2012, the average rate of repossession orders for every 1,000 households shrunk from 3.3 to 2.8.

However, 72 percent of towns in the northern UK still suffered from more repossessions than the average for the rest of the UK. Only 24 percent of towns in the southern UK can make such a claim.

This recent trend is even more pronounced in the northwest, where 80 percent of towns have home repossessions above the national average.

At the postcode level, Chester suffers from the highest rate of housing repossessions. Chester experienced 8.4 repossessions for every 1,000 households from January to July of 2018, which is three times the 2.8 average enjoyed by the rest of the UK.

With repossession rates of 4.2, 4.3, and 4.5 respectively, Wigan, Oldham, and Blackpool also find themselves among the worst towns for repossessions in the UK.

“On a national level, repossessions are falling as the economy slowly crawls back to health,” stated Richard Sexton, director at e.surv chartered surveyors.

Sexton continued, “Mortgages are becoming cheaper, wages are slowly picking up, and the labour market is showing more vitality. But the recovery has been more pronounced in the south, driven by booming property and labour markets in the capital and home-counties.”

“In areas in the northwest and Yorkshire, wages are recovering more slowly, and fewer jobs are on offer. Pay increases that are consistently below the rate of inflation have further tightened household budgets and caused many to fall behind on their mortgage repayments.”

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